I learned about this book from a recommendation in a recent Dorothy L. Sayers Society newsletter. It sounded intriguing, so I decided to get a copy a try it out. As it’s set in London in 1930, I at least knew that the time and location would totally appeal to me.
The author, Martin Edwards, is a highly regarded writer and student of the Golden Age mysteries. He is also currently president of the Detection Club, that august group started in 1930 that included G. K. Chesterton as its first president, and listed Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie, and Margery Allingham as members. (Sayers also served as president.) Mr. Edwards has written a very interesting book indeed. The plot has more twists and turns than a normal plot should have, but it keeps you interested and keeps you guessing. It’s the kind of story where the solutions sort of sneak up on you and you say, “Aha! I knew it all along!” But then there is at least one item of complete surprise.
The story follows a young reporter named Jacob Flint who writes for The Clarion newspaper and who covers a story that also complicates and endangers his own life. The main character is a wealthy young woman named Rachel Savernake. Again, the story is so convoluted (in the best way) that it would be too revealing to say much more about it. One small warning: some of the criminal acts are pretty unpleasant, but Edwards does a good job of making them totally readable, even for the squeamish.
I really liked this book and I have ordered the second one even though it’s only available in hardcover! And, for the record, Rachel Savernake mentions reading Dorothy L. Sayers, and one of the characters makes a brief stop in Mecklenburgh Square.
Gallows Court is available on Kindle and in paper. Do find a copy to read it.